Spreading, circular ripples on still water may seem mysterious, but they often signal the presence of one of our area’s smaller but especially attractive birds: the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).
Shy, with a preference for bank edges and small vegetation-covered islands that offer protective cover, the bird rarely is seen in flight. Instead, it dives: often at the slightest hint of a human presence. Its genus name, Podilymbus, is rooted in the Latin word for “feet at the buttocks.” Like many diving birds, its feet are located near its rear end: a feature which helps the bird propel itself through the water.
Despite their tendency to disappear in a flash, they sometimes will pause for a portrait despite their awareness of a human observer: cautious as ever, but undeniably cute.